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Full text of "Simplified sewing"

Division of 



u r a I S c i 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFO 



SIMPLIFIED 
SEWING 



ETHELWYN DODSON 
FRANCES REIS QUINN 




/ 



CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL 
Experiment Station 
Extension Service 



MANUAL 1 1 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of California, Davis Libraries 



http://archive.org/details/simplifiedsewing11dods 



SIMPLIFIED 
SEWING 



ETHELWYN DODSON 
FRANCES REIS QUINN 




UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA • COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE 

Agricultural Experiment Station and Extension Service 



LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
DAVIS 



THIS MANUAL is one of a series published by the University of California College of 
Agriculture and sold for a charge which is based upon returning only a portion of the pro- 
duction cost. By this means it is possible to make available publications which, due to 
relatively high cost of production, or limited audience, would otherwise be beyond the scope 
of the College publishing program. 



'» 



CONTENTS 

Page 

An organized method for making a garment 1 

Use the unit method 1 

Choose cloth that is easy to handle 1 

Choose pattern size range 2 

Lay the pattern on the fabric 3 

Cut and mark the garment 8 

Making a garment by the unit method 9 

Sewing techniques 13 

Necklines 13 

Sleeves 16 

Hems 17 

Plackets 18 

Piped buttonholes 18 

Darts 19 

Machine gathering 20 

Seams 20 

Woven plaids 21 

Stripes 23 

Patterned fabrics 23 

Tips on handling fabrics 23 

Fabrics made from natural fibers 23 

Fabrics of man-made fibers 24 




SIM 



Think of each part of your 
pattern as a unit. Illustrated 
here are the units of a simple 
dress. 



Making an attractive garment of good workmanship is pos- 
sible for either a beginner or an experienced sewer. 

The directions given in this manual can be adapted to the making 
of any garment, whether for a man, woman, or child. 

The organized type of sewing described in this manual is the unit 
method. Each part of a garment is completed before the parts are 
put together. The easy-to-follow steps will save you time and effort. 

The sewing techniques will help you achieve good workmanship. 

Tips on using fabrics other than cotton will be of help when you 
are ready to extend your sewing experience. 

THE AUTHORS: 

Ethelwyn Dodson and Frances Reis Quinn are Clothing Specialists, Agricultural Exten- 
sion, Berkeley. 

November, 1953 



PLIFIED SEWING 



ETHELWYN DODSON 



FRANCES REIS QUINN 



AN ORGANIZED METHOD FOR MAKING A GARMENT 



Use the unit method 

The unit method of sewing is a way 
to make a garment in easy-to-follow steps. 
Each part of the garment is a unit. For 
example, the units of a dress are the 
blouse back and front, the collar, the 
sleeves, and the skirt back and front. It 
is easier to sew on one flat part than on 
several parts that have been joined. Com- 
plete whatever sewing can be done on 
each unit before it is joined to other units. 

Choose cloth that is easy 
to handle 

Choose easy-to-handle fabrics when 
practicing quick methods in sewing. Cot- 
ton cloth is easy to use. 

Vat-dyed cottons are the most perma- 
nent — least likely to run or fade. Cottons 
labeled for controlled shrinkage are ready 
to use. If the cotton is not shrunk, shrink 
it before cutting. 

To shrink cotton material: 

1 . Without unfolding it, soak the 
cloth in warm water until it is com- 
pletely wet. 

2. Drain off water. Do not wring 
cloth. 

3. Straighten and pull cloth into 
shape while it is wet. 

4. Let cloth drip dry until damp 
enough to iron. Press straight with 
the grain. 



Suitable for your first garment are 
printed or solid-color cottons, such as 
percale, chambray, pique, poplin, broad- 
cloth, denim, or suiting. Firmly woven 
rayon may also be chosen. Spun rayons 
and washable, linen-like weaves that tear 
with a short fringe and do not ravel badly 
are best. 





O 

o o o o 

O O O O O G 

D o o o o o 
o o o o o o 

O O O O O O i 

o o o o o o 

o o o o o o < 

o o o o o o 

O O O O O O < 



You save material by choosing a print with no 
up and down (right), rather than one that must 
go in one direction only (left). 



[i] 




Two simple but attractive blouses have only 
two pattern pieces each, require little sewing. 

Avoid fabrics that slow 
up sewing time 

Plaids, stripes, and large prints take 
time to center and match. 

Avoid sheer fabrics because they re- 
quire extra seam finishing. 

Napped fabrics like corduroy and 
velveteen must be cut so that the nap lies 
in one direction. Prints with figures lying 
in one direction must be cut in the same 
way. Pattern sheet directions for laying 
out patterns on napped fabrics must be 
followed carefully. 

Choose a simple pattern 

A simple pattern is easiest to use be- 
cause it has few pieces. 

Choose pattern size range 

Choosing a pattern size that fits with- 
out requiring many changes is another 
way to make a first garment a success. 

Patterns are available in proportions 
suitable to various figure types. There is 
a decided difference in proportion among 
patterns that are marked the same size, 
such as a size 12 designated girls', teen, 
junior miss, or women's. The differences 
are in length of waist and skirt as well 
as in allowance for chest development. 

Girls' patterns are for girls of ele- 
mentary and junior high school age. They 



Gathered skirt (left) and straight skirt (right) 
are easy to make. 

are in even numbers, sizes 6 through 14. 

Junior patterns are designed for the 
teen-age figure, but some adults will also 
find that these patterns fit them. The pat- 
terns usually range in odd numbers from 
size 9 to 19, but some teen-age patterns 
are made in even sizes from 10 to 18, 
while others run, in sequence, 11, 12, 13, 
14, 15, 16, and 18. 

Misses' patterns are designed for 
youthful figures, and range from size 10 
or 12 to 20. 

Misses' and women's patterns are 
for the mature figure, and range in size 
from 32 to 50, in even numbers. 

Women's half sizes, proportioned 
for short figures, are available in some 
makes of patterns. 

With all these sizes available, it is pos- 
sible to buy a pattern that needs little or 
no change. 

Measure for pattern size 

The pattern that fits the figure through 
the shoulders and chest is better because 
waistline and hip changes are simpler to 
make. 

For dress size, measure: 

Bust — Used by pattern companies to 
determine size. 

Chest — Accurate measurement based 
on bone structure. 



[2 



Chest plus 2 inches — allows for normal 
bust development. 

If your bust measures 3 or 4 inches 
larger than chest, substitute measurement 
of chest or chest plus 2 inches for bust 
measurement to determine pattern size. 
For skirt size, measure: 

Waist and hip. 

Select pattern size nearest hip measure. 

Prepare pattern for cutting 
garment 

Upon completing alterations, cut outer 
margins from printed patterns for accu- 
racy in laying pattern on fabric and in 
cutting. (See pages 4, 5, 6, and 7.) 

Lay the pattern on the fabric 

Here are the steps to follow : 

1 • Straighten both ends of the cloth 
by tearing or cutting by a drawn 
thread. 





















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Each of these patterns is labeled "size 12," but 
note how they vary according to figure type. 



Take firm measurements to determine 
pattern size. 

2. Fold cloth so that the wrong side 
of the material is on the outside, 
ready for marking and stitching. 

3. Place cloth on the table with the 
ends and sides forming right angles. 

4. Place the pattern on the cloth ac- 
cording to the pattern direction 
sheet. 

5. Use a tapeline or ruler to get the 
pattern pieces on the grain line of 
the cloth. 

Grain line is the straight threads of 
the material, both lengthwise and cross- 
wise, that lie at right angles to each other. 
The straight-of-fabric marking on the 
pattern usually follows the lengthwise 
grain line. 

When the garment is cut on the straight 
of the fabric the lengthwise and crosswise 
grain lines fall in straight lines up and 
down and around the figure. The garment 
holds its shape and hangs well. 



The drawings on the four pages that follow show you how to measure your pattern and 
how to adjust it to your own figure, thus insuring a finished garment that fits. 



► 



[3] 




CHECK PATTERN WITH SIMILAR 



NOTE: IN CHECKING YOUR PATTERN 
WITH A SIMILAR GARMENT THAT FITS, 
LAY THE GARMENT FLAT ON A TABLE 
TO MEASURE. DO NOT MEASURE GAR- 
MENT ON A PERSON. THE FIGURES ON 
THESE PAGES ARE MERELY GUIDES TO 
SHOW WHAT PLACES TO MEASURE. 



TOTAL WIDTH— FRONT AND BACK 
UNDERARM TO UNDERARM 



TOTAL WIDTH— FRONT AND BACK 
AT WAISTLINE 



TOTAL WIDTH— FRONT AND BACK 
AT HIPLINE— 7" DOWN 



[4] 



TO MAKE PATTERN LARGER 



TO MAKE PATTERN SMALLER 



GARMENT THAT FITS 



TO LENGTHEN 
SLASH AND SPREAD 





TO SHORTEN 
FOLD DART SLASH, OVERLAP 





THIS 



OR THIS 






[5] 







FRONT WAIST LENGTH— FROM JOINING 

OF SHOULDER AND NECKLINES TO WAISTLINE 



BACK WAIST LENGTH AT CENTER 



SKIRT LENGTHS: 
AT CENTER FRONT 
AT CENTER BACK- 
AT SIDE SEAMS — 



SUPPLEMENTARY MEASUREMENTS 



WIDTH ACROSS BACK 
5" FROM NECKLINE 



POINT OF UNDERARM DART LOCATION— 
TAPELINE AROUND NECK TO BREASTS 





WIDTH OF SLEEVE AT UNDERARM 




IF SHOULDERS ARE 
SLOPING OR SHOULDER 
PADS ARE OMITTED, 
YOU MAY NEED TO 





[6] 



TO MAKE PATTERN LARGER 



TO MAKE PATTERN SMALLER 



4\ X > 

j * 

— \>\ 





THIS OR THIS 

THAT MAY NEED TO BE CHECKED 








THIS OR THIS 



ADD "HINGE" 





IF SHOULDERS ARE SQUARE 
YOU MAY NEED TO 




IF SHOULDERS 
ARE ROUNDED 



ri 



PUT IN DART 




SLASH SPREAD 



[7] 



CUT END OF MATERIAL 




To straighten material, draw a thread and cut 
on thread line. 



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Lay the fabric flat on a table so that ends and 
sides form right angles. 




.SELVAGES 



Measure to get straight-of-fabric marking of 
pattern on grain line of the material. 



Cut and mark the garment 

As each piece of the garment is cut, 
mark notches, darts, and sewing lines for 
quick-method construction. 

1 . With sharp shears, cut closely 
around pattern pieces. 

2. If there is a center seam in the 
blouse or skirt, pin the center seam 
before removing from cutting table. 

3. Mark all notches with %-inch 
snips. Do not cut out notches. 

4. Mark the seam edges of darts with 
^4-inch snips. 

5. Mark the center front, center 
back, and top of sleeve with i/i-inch 
snips. 

6. Mark the sewing lines of darts and 
locations of pockets and buttonholes. 

To mark sewing lines with 
dressmaker's tracing paper 

Dressmaker's tracing paper is made of 
pigment and wax, and should not be con- 
fused with inked carbon paper. This 
special tracing paper can be used to mark 
both sides of a garment at the same time. 

Always test the tracing paper before 
using. Mark a line lightly by laying the 
paper over the wrong side of the fabric. 
If the mark shows through to the right 
side of the fabric test to see if the mark 
can be removed. Wash it out if the fabric 
is washable. Use a dry cleaning fluid if 
the fabric is one that should be dry 
cleaned. If the line is difficult to remove, 
choose another method of marking. 

Use either a tracing wheel or the dull 
edge of a table knife to mark lines. Fol- 
low the edge of a ruler to make sure that 
lines are straight. 

Here is the way to use dressmaker's 
tracing paper: 

1 . Put one sheet, waxed side up, be- 
tween the lower side of the fabric 
and a piece of cardboard on cutting 
table. 



[8] 



2. Remove enough pins so that the 
paper can be put between the pattern 
and the cloth. 

3. Put another sheet between the pat- 
tern and the cloth, waxed side down. 
Repin the pattern. 

4. Place a ruler along the line to be 
marked and run the tracing wheel 
or knife along the ruler edge. 

5. Mark end point of darts. 




To mark sewing lines with 
double pins and chalk 

1 . Put pins straight through each 
perforation or along the marking 
line of a printed pattern. 

2. On the under side, put other pins 
at the places where those from the 
top show through. 

3. When the two sections of the piece 
are pulled apart, the heads of the 
pins rest against the fabric. 

4. Remove the pattern. 

5. Place a ruler along the pin heads, 
and connect them with a straight 
chalk line. 

Making a garment by 
the unit method 

The steps for making a dress are out- 
lined below. If a separate blouse or skirt 
is to be made, use the parts of the outline 
that apply. 

Stay-stitching is a row of stitching 
to keep the grain line in place in parts 
cut across the grain, such as neck, and 
across the shoulder. Stay-stitch with 
matching thread on a line slightly less 
than the seam allowance given on the pat- 
tern. Use a seam gauge to be exact. 

There is a correct direction to follow 
so that grain line is kept in place while 
stitching. The general rule is : Stitch from 



Use a single !4-inch snip to mark al 
Do not cut out notch. 



notches. 




The seam edges of darts should be marked with 
14-inch snips. 






Mark top of sleeve with Vi-inch snips. 



[9] 




Mark end points of darts. 



Use flat edge of chalk for marking. 



the highest to the lowest point on sections 
cut across the grain. 

Baste-stitching is basting by ma- 
chine — 6 to 8 stitches to the inch. Use 
contrasting thread on the bobbin. Stitch 
on the wrong side. 

Following is the outline for making a 
dress by the unit method: 

1 . Units of blouse 

Front or fronts 
Stitch center seam first, if used. 

a. Stitch waistline or shoulder darts 



and press toward center. Stitch un- 
derarm darts and press down. 

b. Stay-stitch the neck, shoulders, 
and zipper area, and lower edge. 

c. Baste-stitch 2 inches to mark cen- 
ter front, if center seam is not used. 

d. Baste-stitch to mark buttonholes 
and pockets, if used. 

e. Make piped buttonholes. If ma- 
chine buttonholes are to be used, 
they are finished later. 

f . Finish facing edge. 



ARROWS INDICATE DIRECTION f 
OF STAY-STITCHING 





FACING 
FINISH- 
STITCH, TURN 
RESTITCH 



CENTER FRONT DARTS FINISHED 

BASTE-STITCHED 2" 



A right front unit ready for making piped 
buttonholes. 



A completed left front unit that is now ready 
for assembly. 



[10 



g. Attach pockets. 

Back of blouse 
Stitch center seam first, if used. 

a. Stitch darts and press toward 
center. 

b. Stay-stitch neck, shoulders, waist, 
and zipper area. 

C. Baste-stitch 2 inches to mark cen- 
ter back if center seam is not used. 

Collar 

a. Baste-stitch to mark center. 

b. Pin the two pieces of the collar, 
easing the top onto the undercollar. 

c. Stitch on regular seam line. 

d. Press seam open. 

e. Trim the seam to remove the bulk. 
Clip the corners of pointed collars, 
and cut small wedges from circular 
collars. Turn and press. 

Cuffs 

Follow the same general outline as that 
given above for collar. 

Sleeves 

a. Baste-stitch 2 inches down from 
snip marking top of sleeve. 

b. Sew darts or gathers at elbow. 

c. Gather top of sleeves with machine 
gathering between notches. 

d. Sew underarm seam. 

e. Finish hem or apply cuff. 

2. Put together the units of blouse 

a. Join shoulder seams from neck to 
shoulder. 

b. Attach collar to blouse, or finish 
neckline. 

c. Sew side seams from armhole to 
waist. 

d. Set in sleeves, sewing from sleeve 




A completed back unit shown from the 
underside. 

side and overlapping stitching at un- 
derarm seam. 

Note: Sleeves may be set into arm- 
holes before sewing side seams when 
making shirts, pajamas, and children's 
dresses, and house dresses. 

To complete a blouse, make machine- 
made buttonholes or finish piped ones. 
Finish bottom with a ^-inch hem, or 
pink the edge and stitch two rows close 
to the pinking. 



■^r^c^p^fzr^^;. 




V EASE TOP COLLAR ONTO UNDERCOLLAR ^ 





TRIM CORNERS 
AND SEAM 




SMALL WEDGES ON 
CURVE REMOVE 
SEAM BULK 



Follow these steps in making a pointed or 
rounded collar. 



[ii] 



3. Units of skirt 

Front and back 

a. Sew center seam or baste-stitch 2 
inches down from center snip mark- 
ing. 

b. Make gathers or darts at waist. 

c. Stay-stitch waistline and side 
seams from hipline to waist. 

4. Put together the units of skirt 

a. Stitch side seams of skirt from 
hem to waist. 

b. Stitch back % inch when ending 
seam on left side at placket opening. 

To complete a skirt, finish the placket, 
attach the band, mark and finish hem. 

5. Complete the dress 

a. Join blouse to skirt. 




Steps of sleeve unit. Two rows of continuous 
stitching make better gathering than one. 



l. SHOULDER 
SEAMS 



3. SIDE SEAMS 





Collar, pocket, buttonholes, side seams are finished before sleeves are set in. The blouse is ready 
to attach to skirt at waistline. A completed skirt unit (below) showing staystitching at waistline and 
side seams between hipline and waist. 



b. Finish placket. 

c. Mark and finish hem. 

d. Make machine-made buttonholes 
or finish piped ones. 

e. Sew on buttons. 

f. Give final pressing. 

g. Make or buy a belt. 











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SKIRT 


UNIT 


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12 



SEWING TECHNIQUES 



The quality of the finishes on garments 
is important. Very noticeable finishes 
are: necklines, sleeves, hems, plackets, 
buttonholes, darts, gathers, and seams. 

Special techniques are given for plaids, 
stripes, and certain patterned fabrics. 

Necklines 

Before finishing the neckline, check to 
see if it is comfortable and becoming. A 



Tips for speedy sewing 

The unit method is planned to make 
sewing go fast. Here are some tips to 
speed it up even more. 
l.Wear a pincushion when cutting, 
sewing, or pressing. 

2. Wear a tape measure around neck 
or looped through belt. 

3. Keep scissors handy when cutting, 
sewing, or pressing. 

4. Pin the pattern to fabric on the 
straight-of-grain marking, and use 
weights— such as silverware— to hold 
the pattern edges in place. 

5. Mark all pattern pieces at the time 
you cut. 

6. Know the order of sewing before 
you start. Plan ahead. Understand 
your pattern. 

7. Pile cut units in sewing order. 

• 8. Do not remove pattern pieces from 
a unit until you are ready to sew it. 
9. Have your sewing tools and place for 
working conveniently arranged. 

10. Use a seam gauge or cellophane 
tape pasted on bed of machine to 

. help you stitch accurate seams. 

11. Use fewer pins and less basting by 
using hands more for guiding fabric 
while stitching. 

12. Pin-baste straight seams by placing 
pins back from the stitching line so 
that the machine needle does not 
sew over them. 

13. Clip seam-end threads as you sew. 

14. Press units before putting them to- 
gether. 



new stayline should be stitched if a cor- 
rection is made. 

A French fold or double bias binding 
can be used as a neck finish or to attach 
a ruffle to finish a neckline. The steps are : 

1 . Cut a strip of true bias six times 
the width of the finished fold (about 
1% inches). 

2. Fold the bias strip at the center. 
Press and baste near the fold. 

3. Trim the neckline a scant % inch 
above the stayline. 

4. Baste the binding to the right side 
of the neckline, with cut edges to- 
gether. Stitch Y^ inch from cut edges. 

5. Turn the folded edge over the cut 
edges to form a binding. Hem by 
hand at stitching line. 

To finish binding by machine, trim raw 
edges slightly more. Turn the folded edge 
beyond stitching line and baste. Stitch on 
outside in the crease formed by the seam- 
line. 



I 



BASTE NEAR FOLD 




Details of the French fold. 



[13] 




Baste-stitch ruffles to neckline before finishing 
with a French fold. 




Ruffles are baste-stitched to the neck- 
line before being finished with a French 
fold. 

An underf acing can be used as a neck 
finish. The facing is cut on the same grain 
line as the dress. If your pattern does not 
include a piece for the facing, you may 
make one, fitting it to the neckline. A 
finished facing is 1% to 3 inches deep. 

Reinforced facings keep neck openings 
from tearing. A narrow strip of selvage 
is stiched on the facing at the end of open- 
ing or at corners before facing is sewed 
to dress. 

On cottons and some rayons the raw 
edge of facing is turned under at the stay- 
line and stitched on the edge. 

Seam tape is used for finishing facings 
for heavy dress fabrics, fine rayons, and 
silks. If the facing is curved, dampen and 
press tape in a curve. The tape is stitched 
flat to cover raw edge of facing. 

To keep an underfacing flat, press the 
seam allowances toward the facing side 
and stitch close to neck seam. 

Do not hem facing to dress. Tack at 
shoulder seams. 

A top facing is a decorative finish. 
To have a smooth line at the shoulder, 
rip the seams about 1% inches from the 



Neck openings will not tear if reinforced with 
a narrow strip of selvage. 




Dampen seam tape and press into a curve if it 
is to be used to finish a curved facing. 



Press folded bias strip into a curve for attaching 
a collar. 



[14] 




OUTSIDE 



Baste the collar to the neckline, matching 
notches. 













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Turn back facing on collar; baste in place. Baste 
bias across back, cut edges together. 



neckline. Snip the seam allowances and 
reverse the seams. Restitch seams, trim, 
and press open. Cover with top facing. 

Collars should roll evenly or lie flat. 
The edges should be smooth. The same 
grain line is used for cutting the top and 
undercollar. Exception : Undercollars are 
cut on the bias for coats and suits. 

Attaching a collar with double bias: 

1 . Cut true bias strip like collar, 2 
inches wide and long enough to fin- 
ish back of collar. The bias laps 
under front facing about % inch. 

2. Fold bias lengthwise. Baste near 
fold. Press into curve by stretching 
folded edge. 

3. Baste collar to neckline. Match 
notches, center front and center 
back. 

4. Turn facing back on collar and 
baste. 

5. Baste bias across the back with 
cut edges together. 

6. Clip neck curve and stitch entire 
neck edge on seam line. 

7. Thumb-press and trim seam. 

8. Turn bias to inside. Slip stitch. 
The collar can be attached with single 

bias tape. The method is the same as that 
used with double bias except that only 



one raw edge is sewed in the crease on the 
seam line. 

Attaching a notched collar for a shirt 
or tailored dress: 

1 . Pin undercollar to center back 
and shoulder seams, and baste. 

2. Snip collar to seam line at shoul- 
der seam points. 

3. Baste collar to neckline from cen- 
ter fronts to shoulder lines. 

4. Turn front facing back; match 
notches, and stitch around neck on 
seam line leaving top collar free in 
back between shoulder seams. 

5. Turn under seam of top collar and 
hem at neckline. 

6. Tack facings at shoulder seams. 

Notched collar on suits and coats: 
Use stay-stitching on neckline of the 
coat and facings. Use stitched V of fine 
machine stitching at points where collar 
joins facings and coat fronts. 

1 . Sew undercollar to coat, right 
sides together. Match notches. 

2. Sew upper collar to facings. 

3. Place front facings with attached 
collar to right side of assembled 
coat; match notches, lower edges, 
center back, and collar joinings. 



[15] 



4. For collar roll, draw back top col- 
lar from edge of undercollar % inch, 
and pin. 

5. Stitch on facing side on seam line. 

6. Steam-press the seam open. 

7. Trim and grade seam. 

8. Turn and press edge of collar. 



Sleeves 

The fabric grain line of a well set-in 
sleeve falls straight from the shoulder and 
at right angles around the arm. 

Machine gather top of sleeve between 
notches, using lengthened stitch. Two 
rows of continuous stitching make better 
gathering than one. Begin stitching along 
the seam line and return with second row 




Notched collar on tailored blouse. Top: pin 
undercollar to center back, shoulder seams; 
baste. Center: turn front facing back, stitch on 
seam line; leave top collar free between 
shoulder seams. Bottom: turn under seam al- 
lowance of top collar; hem at neckline. 



Notched collar on suit or coat. Top: Use stitched 
V of fine machine stitching at points where 
the collar joins the facings and coat fronts. 
Center: sew the undercollar to the coat, right 
sides together. Bottom: sew the upper collar to 
facings. 



r 16 ] 




Sleeve is stitched into the armhole on the 
sleeve side. 

of stitching about % inch above the first 
row. Draw the gathering threads until 
sleeve loosely fits armhole. Adjust gathers 
until grain line runs straight across top 
of sleeve. 

To set the sleeves into the armhole: 

1 . Match the sleeve notches. 

2. Match the %-inch snip and 2-inch 
baste-stitching line at top of sleeve 
to the shoulder seam. 

3. Match sleeve underarm seam to 
the side seam of blouse. 

4. Ease in sleeve fullness evenly. 

The sleeve is stitched to the armhole on 
the sleeve side. Start the stitching near 
the underarm and overlap it 2 or 3 inches. 
A second row of stitching on the stretched 
seam allowance about % inch from the 
first stitching makes a sturdy finish. The 
seams are trimmed evenly and pressed 
toward the sleeve. 

The lower edges of sleeves are finished 
like neck finishes — French folds, facings, 
hems, or cuifs. 

Cuffs are made and attached like col- 
lars. For an easy mock cuff, make a 2-inch 
hem and turn it back 1% inches. 

Hems 

Hems should have a smooth, straight 
line around the lower edge. A straight, 



V 



PLAIN HEMMING 



^ <-/ ^ 



SLIP-STITCH HEMMING 



=-=-w- 



\-t W W— ' 




Hemming stitches. All edges of hems are basted 
to the garment Vs inch from the top whether 
turned under, taped, or pinked. Slip stitching 
and machine hemming are used on turned 
edges. 

For running and vertical hemming, roll back Vz 
inch of the hem edge. For machine hemming, 
turn garment back and stitch on under side of 
Vb inch turning. 



[17] 




Pull up stitching in small loops, at intervals 

along hem. Press to ease out fullness. Finish 

hem with tape. 

gathered skirt can have a wide hem. 
Gored and circular skirts have narrow 
hems — ^4 to 2 inches deep. The more cir- 
cular the skirt, the narrower the hem. 

Trim hem evenly to the desired width. 
To ease in fullness rather than pleat it, 
stitch % inch from the cut edge. Pull up 
stitching at intervals only enough to take 
up fullness and permit hem to lie flat. 
Finish hem with tape or fold under on 
the stitched line. 

The hems on fine rayons, wool, and 
heavy fabrics are finished with seam tape. 
The tape makes a smoother finish if 
pressed in a curved line. The tape is sewed 
on the stitched line. Heavy cottons can 



be finished in the same way with bias 
tape. 

Hand hemming stitches should be 
small, inconspicuous, slightly loose, and 
spaced about V2 mcn apart. Start and end 
hemming about every 12 inches, or at 
each seam in a gored skirt. Start and end 
securely with several small stitches taken 
on the hem fold underneath. 

Plackets 

Skirt and dress zipper plackets should 
be smooth, and the zipper concealed. Here 
are the steps: 

1 . Baste-stitch placket opening on 
seam line. 

2. Press seam open. 

3. Press and baste %-inch fold from 
seam line on back seam allowance. 

4. Lay the %-inch fold on the out- 
side of the zipper close to the teeth. 
Baste and stitch. 

5. Stitch on right side after basting 
zipper flat across side seam. 

6. Remove the baste-stitching which 
held placket together. 

Piped buttonholes 

1 . Baste-stitch two lines to indicate 
buttonhole length. 





\ \ 




\ \ 




\ \ 




\ \ • 




\ \ 




\ \ 








\ \ 






\ \ 




\ V 








\ \ 




A ] 




A. Baste-stitch placket opening on seam line. B. Press Vs-inch fold from seam line on back seam 

allowance, baste and stitch to zipper close to teeth. C. Stitch on right side after basting zipper 

flat across the side seam. Remove baste-stitching. 



[18] 



Baste-stitch lines % inch above 
the buttonhole location marks. 

2. Count the number of buttonholes ; 
measure their total length. Example : 
6 buttonholes, each 1 inch long, 
measure 6 inches. 

3. Cut a lengthwise strip twice as 
long as total length of buttonholes, 
and 2 inches wide. 



Baste-stitched lines for accurate folding and 
stitching of buttonhole strip. 



BUTTONHOLE LOCATION 



VJ 



\^~ 



V 





Two vertical lines of baste-stitching indicate 
buttonhole length. 

Baste-stitched line !4 inch above buttonhole 
location shows line for top of tucked strip. 

Buttonhole stitching directly on tuck stitching. 

Buttonhole cut through center % inch from 
each end and diagonally to the corners. 

Ends of buttonhole piping secured by stitch- 
ing across triangle. 



4. Baste-stitch center of long strip. 
Baste-stitch two more lines ^-inch 
from center on each side. 

5. Fold this long strip % inch and 
stitch a %-inch tuck from fold. Re- 
peat on other edge. You will have 
two %-inch tucks ^4 inch apart. 

6. Cut tucked strip into sections 
twice the length of the buttonhole. 

7. Pin fold of tuck on baste-stitch 
line of buttonhole, right sides to- 
gether. 

8. Stitch marked length of button- 
hole on original tuck stitching, and 
secure each end by sewing back a 
few stitches. Repeat on other tuck. 

9. Cut between parallel lines of 
stitching to % inch from each end. 
Clip diagonally to each corner. 

1 0. Pull ends of strip to inside, 
forming square corners at the ends. 

1 1 . Stitch across triangle on the in- 
side at the end of buttonhole. 

To finish later: 

Stab pins through facing at each end 
of buttonhole opening. The two pins 
should follow a grain line. Slit the facing 
between the pins. Turn raw edges under 
and hem. 



Darts 

Darts should be smooth, even, and well 
placed. When beginning and ending 
darts, as pictured, there is no necessity 
to tie threads. 

For fine dressmaking, end darts by 
fastening each machine thread to folded 
edge of dart, using a hand needle. 

Pressing darts. Dress and skirt darts 
are pressed toward the center, front and 
back. Underarm and sleeve darts are 
pressed down. 

Trimming darts. Large darts in suits 
and coats may be trimmed to seam width 
and pressed open. The tip of the dart can 
be pressed in a tiny box pleat, or split and 
pressed open. 

[19] 




A. Start stitching in 14-inch snip marking out- 
side edge of dart. B. Stitch back V2 inch on 
folded edge at point of dart. C. End darts not 
tapered to a point, by stitching diagonally to 
fold. 

Coat lining darts are never trimmed 
nor stitched by machine. They are pressed 
and tacked by catch stitches. 

Machine gathering 

For gathering, adjust sewing machine, 
8 to 10 stitches to the inch. Two rows of 
continuous stitching make better gather- 
ing than one. Begin stitching along the 
seam line, and return with second row of 
stitching about % inch above the first 
row. Draw the gathering tight by pulling 
the underthreads. Press gathers between 
the fingers. Loosen gathers to fit. The 
gathers can be locked at the end by pull- 
ing the upper and lower threads. 



Seams 

Plain seams are satisfactory for most 
garments. For accurate seams, match ends 
of seams and notches. 

Use a seam guide to help you stitch 
even seams. Use the tape measure in set- 
ting the guide for stitching a seam. Crease 
a tape measure on an inch line, place it 
under the presser foot, and drop the ma- 
chine needle on the seam allowance line. 
The presser foot holds the tape measure 
in place until the guide is set and fastened 
securely. If a strip of cellophane tape is 
being used as a guide, paste it on the bed 
of the sewing machine. 

To join bias and straight edges in a 
seam, stitch with the bias side up. 

To ease one edge of a seam to the other, 
stitch the seam with the eased side up. 

To join a gathered edge and a straight 
or bias edge, stitch exactly on the gather- 
ing line with the gathered side up. 

To join an inside curved edge to a 
straight edge, or to join two curved edges, 
slash the seam edges almost to the stay- 
stitching. Then stitch as a straight seam. 

Extra finishing is needed on some 
seams to keep them from raveling. The 
fabric thickness, firmness of weave, and 
degree of raveling will influence the 
choice of finish. 

Seam finishes : 

1 . Overcasting by hand or zigzag 
attachment. 

2. One or 2 rows of small machine 
stitching. 





Use tape measure in setting seam guide to the A strip of cellophane tape may be used instead 
desired width. of a seam guide. 

[20] 



3. Stitching and pinking. 

4. Edges turned under and stitched. 

5. Seam binding applied flat. 

Pinking is of little value for clothes 
that are washed often, but may be useful 
for clothes that will be dry cleaned. 

The seams of unlined jackets are often 
finished with edges turned under and 
stitched, or with seam binding applied 
flat to cover raw edges. 

Fell seams can be used for play shorts 
or slacks, pajamas, and shirts. Two rows 
of stitching % inch apart show on the 
outside of the garment; the inside is 
smooth. Side seams are usually plain 
seams on shorts and slacks. Do not make 
a fell seam where a zipper is used. 

The Red Cross method is a simple way 
to make a good fell seam: 

a. Place the wrong sides together. 

b. Trim half the seam allowance on 
one side of the seam. 

c. Crease ^-inch fold on the other 
side. 

d. Slip trimmed side into fold. 

e. Pin and baste if necessary. 

f . Stitch on the outside % inch from 
folded edge. 

g. Lay open seam flat against gar- 
ment and stitch close to folded edge. 

Note: All stitching is on the outside. 

French seams can be used for under- 
wear, sleeping garments, and certain 
clothes made of transparent fabrics. 
French seams are rarely used for dresses. 

a. Baste and stitch seams on right 
side of garment % to *4 inch nar- 
rower than seam allowance. 

b. Trim to % inch or slightly less. 

c. Press seam open; turn garment to 
wrong side and crease along seam. 
Baste on creased edge. 

d. Stitch the seam on inside deep 
enough to include all trimmed edges. 

[21 



Lapped seams can be used for shaped 
yokes. 

a. Stay-stitch slightly less than seam 
allowance around raw edges of yoke. 

b. Turn on seamline and press. 

c. Miter corners or clip curves. 

d. Match and pin the turned edge of 
the yoke to the other part of the 
seam. 

e. Stitch near the folded edge. 

Woven plaids 

Plaids take time to cut and sew. Gar- 
ments made of plaid require more yard- 
age than those made of plain fabric. 
Sewing must be done carefully or the 
matched plaid will slip out of line. 

To be attractive, the plaid should be 
centered front and back. The collar and 
belt are centered, and match the blouse 
and skirt. The plaids match on the front, 
back, and side seams. The sleeves match 
the bodice. 

You can buy plaids that are either bal- 
anced or unbalanced in design. Plaids 
that are balanced have no up and down 
nor left and right. Unbalanced plaids 
have an up and down and a left and right. 




Lapped seams and mitered corners used on a 
shaped yoke. 




Layout for a balanced, woven plaid dress. Plaid 
matches at hipline, center front, center back, 
and notches at armhole and bodice. 



m=" — n 

Pattern layout for unbalanced, woven plaid 
blouse. Plaid reversed in one front and one 
sleeve will balance the design. 



Unbalanced plaids are more difficult to 
cut and match than balanced plaids. 

Avoid printed plaids that do not follow 
grain line. 

Match the design from the right side 
and top baste. 

Steps in top basting are : 

a. Lap folded seam allowance of one 
side over the opposite side. Match 
and pin the same color stripes. 

b. Top baste with long and short 
stitches directly on the fold. 

c. Leave 2 inches extra thread at the 
end and make a knot. 

d. Loosen bastings slightly. Turn to 
wrong side. Stitch in the crease indi- 
cated by the basting. 

[22] 




Finished blouse of unbalanced plaid. 





Top basting for matching plaids. 



Skirt now top basted, ready for stitching. 



Stripes 

The center front and center back 
should be placed on a stripe or between 
stripes. Matching stripes are then top 
basted. 



Patterned fabrics 

Some designs with printed or woven 
motifs should be centered or balanced on 
the blouse and skirt. Use top basting to 
match the motifs. 



TIPS ON HANDLING FABRICS 



Fabrics made from natural 
fibers 

Cotton, flax, silk, and wool are natural 
fibers that have been used throughout 
the ages. 

Cotton fabric finishes 

Certain finishes used on cottons change 
the physical properties of the material. 
For this reason, the normal ironing tem- 
perature may need to be lowered. Also, 
bleaches normally used on cottons may 
yellow them because of the finish used. 

Linen fabrics 

Linen (made of flax) should be han- 
dled in a manner similar to that used for 
cotton in cutting, pressing, and sewing. 
Some linen fabrics, due to their weaves, 
tend to ravel more than most cottons. 
Extra seam finishes may be desirable. 
Dress linen is usually treated for crush 
resistance and shrinkage. 



Silk fabrics 

Follow the same precautions when sew- 
ing and pressing silk as for fabrics of 
man-made fibers (page 26). 

Wool fabrics 

Medium-weight woolens, such as flan- 
nel, tweed, and fleece, are easy to tailor 
because they take the shape of the gar- 
ment readily. Woolen materials that have 
a soft, lightly napped surface do not show 
seam lines when pressed. A beginner in 
tailoring should avoid firm, smooth 
worsteds, such as men's suitings and 
gabardines, because they are difficult to 
shape and press. 

Shrinking wool. Wool fabric should 
be shrunk before being cut and made 
into a garment. Even if the fabric is 
labeled preshrunk, home shrinking is 
necessary. 

a. Dip a sheet into warm water and 
wring dry. 



[23] 




Use a cotton and a wool pressing cloth for 
woolens. 

b. Lay folded wool on sheet. 

c. Fold edges of sheet over cloth. 
Fold over and over lightly the entire 
length. 

d. Cover with paper or turkish towel 
for two hours. 

e. Remove material from sheet and 
lay it on flat surface. (Oilcloth will 
protect table or floor.) 

f . Smooth material so that it will dry 
straight with the grain, the ends and 
sides forming right angles. 

When this method is used, the wool will 
not need pressing before cutting. The first 
pressing comes after the units are made. 

Pressing wool. Wool must be pressed 
with steam. A wool pressing cloth should 
be used to protect the wool. If a regular 
iron is used, place a wool pressing cloth 
next to the wool and cover it with a dam- 
pened cotton cloth to get steam. 

Use plenty of steam, and press lightly 
with the grain line. Never bear down with 
the iron. Never iron back and forth. 
Never press wool until it is completely 
dry; allow it to dry naturally. 



Press on wood or a firm ironing board 
for well creased edges and to avoid seam 
marks. Another precaution to avoid press 
marks is to brush the right side of the 
wool while steaming. 

Shape curved parts of the garment, 
such as shoulder, top of sleeves, and bust, 
over a pressing ham or pad. 

To crease hems and edges, beat with 
wooden clapper while fabric contains 
steam. 

Fabrics of man-made fibers 

Some of the man-made fibers are: 
rayon, acetate, nylon, vicara, orlon, 
acrilan, dacron, dynel, saran, and the yet 
unnamed X51. 

Not all of these man-made fibers are 
commonly found on the fabric market. 
Some will prove as useful as rayon, ace- 
tate, and nylon as soon as they come into 
sufficient production. 

Many of the man-made fibers are 
blended in fabrics with other fibers, man- 
made as well as natural. However, the 
fiber content is but one of the important 
factors affecting the wearing qualities 
and usefulness of a fabric. Yarn construc- 
tion, weave, blend, and amount of dif- 
ferent fibers affect the durability. Also, 
the performance of any fabric depends 
on its correct use. For example, certain 
fiber types do not absorb water; these 
might well be used in rainwear. Others 
cannot be ironed satisfactorily and there- 
fore are ideal in knitted wear that re- 
quires no ironing. 

Because of the different physical prop- 
erties of fibers, manufacturers should 




A pressing ham is an aid in shaping curved 
parts of garment. 



Beat with wooden clapper while fabric contains 
steam. 



[24] 



give information on care of fabric. If a Vicara 
label gives directions for care, keep it for 
reference. 

Properties of some man-made fibers 
In the following lists, plus signs (+) 
indicate the fibers' good qualities; minus 
signs (-) show the less desirable char- 
acteristics. 

Rayon + Has many properties of cot- 
ton 

+ Can be made to look like any 
of the natural fibers 

+ Takes color well 

+ Washable 

+ Inexpensive 

- Loses about half of strength 

when wet, but regains it on 
drying 

- Will shrink unless treated 
Acetate + Fast drying 

+ Resistant to shrinking and 
mildew 

+ Can be heat set for perma- 
nent pleating and perma- Acrilan 
nent moire 

+ Drapes well 

- Must be pressed lightly with 

cool iron and special care 
to keep it from becoming 
shiny 

- Dissolves with nail polish or 

remover containing ace- 
tone 

- Subject to gas fading unless 

treated 

- Requires special dyes 

Nylon + Strong and resilient Dacron 

+ Quick drying 
+ Will not shrink 
+ Easily cleaned 
+ Resists mildew and insects 
+ Strong when wet 

- Must be ironed with low heat 

or fabric will fuse 

- Uncomfortable to wear in hot 

weather because it is non- 
absorbent 

- Tends to pucker in sewing 

[25] 



+ Wool-like — warm to touch, 
absorbent, resilient 

+ Blends well with all fibers, 
especially wool and nylon 
in knit and pile fabrics 

-Must be blended with other 
fibers for strength 

- Tends to mat when wet 

- Weak when wet 
+ Very strong 

+ Low shrinkage 

+ Excellent resistance to sun 
and weather 

+ Resistant to mildew and in- 
sects 

+ Can be heat-set for perma- 
nent shape 

+ Can be blended with wool or 
rayon for suitings 

- Must be pressed at low to 

medium temperature to 
avoid yellowing 

- High sheen may be objection- 

able in some articles 

- Poor absorption 
+ Very strong 

+ Quick drying 

+ Wrinkle-resistant 

+ Resistant to moth and mildew 

+ Wool-like — warm to touch, 

has bulk without weight 
+ Can be blended with wool or 

rayon and other fibers for 

suitings 

- Must be pressed at low to 

medium temperatures to 
avoid yellowing 

- Poor absorption 
+ Tough, resilient 
+ Quick drying 

+ Wrinkle-resistant 
+ Retains shape when wet 
+ Can be heat-set to make per- 
manent creases or pleats 
and to prevent shrinkage 
+ In blends, makes good wrin- 
kle-resistant suitings 

- Must be ironed at low tem- 

peratures or shape may be 
distorted 



Dacron (Continued) 

- Cannot be dyed easily 

- Poor absorption 

Dynel + Wool-like, warm to touch, 
and resilient 

4 Quick drying 

+ Shrink-resistant 

+ Resistant to mildew, insects, 
chemical action, flame (ex- 
cellent for protective cloth- 
ing) 

+ Can take permanent pleats 
and does not muss easily 
even when wet 

- Most heat-sensitive of all syn- 

thetic fibers 

- Will become "boardy" if 

washed or ironed at high 
temperatures 

- Cannot be dyed easily 

- Tends to shed in usage 

- Poor absorption 

Precautions when pressing fabrics 
of man-made fibers 

1 . Test fabric for correct iron tem- 
perature by touching iron to a seam. Test 
fabric before using steam because exces- 
sive moisture crinkles some fibers. 

2. Use a cool iron on most fabrics of 
man-made fibers. 

3. Press on the wrong side whenever 
possible. 

4. Use a pressing cloth when pressing 
on right side. 

5. Press lightly. 

6. Press with grain line. 

7. Use firm ironing surface, not a 
softly padded one, to avoid seam marks. 

8. Press seams open over a rolled 
magazine or a half round of wood. 

9. Use strips of paper under seams or 
darts to avoid press marks on right side. 

Acetate should be pressed with a cool 
iron. Very little pressure is needed. When 
using steam, press to smooth — not to dry. 

[ 



Rayon can be pressed with a some- 
what warmer iron than that used for ace- 
tate. If the rayon fabric is a crepey weave 
or one that will stretch, press carefully to 
retain the shape of the garment. 

Nylon, dacron, and orlon garments 
require only a touching up of seams, 
hems, and edges with a cool iron. 

Precautions when sewing 

Sewing on the fabrics of newer man- 
made fibers is in the experimental stages. 

There are a few precautions to take. 

Cover the cutting table either with oil- 
cloth wrong side up, or with a tightly 
stretched sheet. Cloth will then cling and 
stay in place during cutting. This will 
help you cut many fabrics that tend to 
slip or slide readily. 

Stay-stitch the units of a garment to 
prevent stretching the fabric while mak- 
ing. 

Pin every long seam while the fabric 
is on the cutting table. This avoids stretch- 
ing the cloth in one place and easing it in 
another. 

Handle the fabric as little as possible 
during the construction of a garment. 
Keep it wrinkle-free on hanger or lying 
flat. 

Thread to use 

Mercerized cotton thread can be used 
for most sewing. For especially sturdy 
sewing, use heavy-duty thread. Cotton 
thread can be used on all fabrics of natu- 
ral or man-made fibers and blends. 

Silk thread is strong and is sometimes 
used on wool. However, it is glossy for 
outside stitching on wool. 

Threads of man-made fibers may be 
used for sewing fabrics made of those 
fibers. These threads are in the experi- 
mental stage, and colors are limited. The 
pressing temperature must be lowered 
when pressing a garment stitched with 
these threads. 

Nylon thread often untwists and makes 
threading a needle and hand sewing diffi- 
cult. Seams stitched with nylon thread 



26 ] 



have a tendency to pucker because of the your sewing machine may be desirable, 

fiber's elasticity. A new needle hole may be made by 

Test the machine stitching on the cloth pasting cellophane tape over the needle 

before you start. The upper tension may hole of the sewing machine and punctur- 

need to be loosened. ing the tape with the fine needle. 

A fine machine needle may be needed A smaller needle hole allows less 

when stitching with nylon thread. A "pl av " m tne thread ; thus, less puckering 

smaller needle hole on the face plate of results. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Material in this manual describing the unit method of making a garment is drawn 
from the book The Unit Method of Sewing, and is used with the kind permission of 
The Iowa State College Press, Ames, Iowa. 

Information on the man-made fibers is based on material included in the J. C. Pen- 
ney laboratory's textile exhibit in cooperation with companies manufacturing the 
newer fibers. 



[27] 



In order that the information in our publications may be more intelligible it is sometimes necessary 
to use trade names of products or equipment rather than complicated descriptive or chemical iden- 
tifications. In so doing it is unavoidable in some cases that similar products which are on the market 
under other trade names may not be cited. No endorsement of named products is intended nor is 
criticism implied of similar products which are not mentioned. 



Cooperative Extension work in Agriculture and Home Economies, College o Agriculture. Omv, -ity of Californ 
cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8, and June 30. 1914 J Earl Coke, Di 



id United states Departmen 


t of Agriculti 


•. California Aericultural El 


:tension Servi 



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